How to Report Soldier Internet Romance Scams
By Lauren Tyree
Internet romance scams are widespread and cause emotional and financial anguish to countless people each year. Online scam artists are meticulous in hiding their identity, making it difficult for law enforcers to locate and prosecute these offenders. Some perpetrators pretend to be soldiers overseas battling in a war; they prey on women to receive money and gifts in addition to trust and devotion. If you find yourself a victim of this crime, you can arm yourself to retaliate.
Cut all ties with the scammer once you realize you are being defrauded. Refuse to answer any private messages, and do not respond to threats or intimidation. By the time you realize you are being lied to, you can recognize that the impersonator is attempting to drain you of your resources. Refuse to answer any of his pleas, no matter the conditions.
Gather the evidence. If you have saved your online correspondence with the suspect, collect chat logs, emails and any other online messages, arranged in a chronological time line. Be prepared to show proof of the amount of money you have sent to the impostor.
Contact the authorities, and offer your personal information and collected evidence. You can report theft to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-ID-THEFT. You can also file online theft and fraud complaints with the Army Criminal Investigation Command or the Internet Crime Complaint Center (see Resources).
- Perpetrators of online romance scams take great pains to remain anonymous, often hiding out in Internet cafes to make themselves almost impossible to track. While helping the authorities gather information about these crimes will support their efforts in ultimately combating and eradicating it, you may never recover your personal losses.
Lauren Tyree started writing professionally in 2010 as a staff writer for Poptimal. She has penned articles and essays since childhood. Tyree earned her Bachelor of Arts in sociology at Vassar College and her Master of Arts in communication at Regent University.